Gaffers tape is a matte finish vinyl coated cloth tape used for a myriad of applications in many industries such as entertainment (theater, movie, music/DJ) and hospitality (hotel/event planner/convention center/wedding).
A few sample applications include lighting/sound crew work, set construction/wardrobe, general purpose floor marking and cable hold down, bookbinding, bus seat repairs, and waterproof packaging and sealing.
Gaffers tape features:
matte finish prevents unwanted light reflection (no glare)
vinyl-coated cloth tape allows for straight tears by hand and direct printing by pen, pencils and markers
residue-free adhesive allows for easy removal
rubber adhesive helps to resist water
Gaffer's tape has a matte finish vinyl coated cloth backing instead of a lower cost polyethylene coated cloth backing like duct tape. Gaffers tape, also referred to as gaff tape, has a specially formulated residue-free rubber adhesive that is preferred by theatre, studio, and audio visual personnel. Since there is no sticky adhesive left behind, it is often used to hold and position stage scenery/props, lighting, microphones, cables and wiring. Gaffers tape is also tearable by hand and waterproof. To label and seal film canisters and to mark stages, narrower cut gaffers called spike tape is applied. The vinyl coating on the gaffer tape backing allows for direct printing by pen, pencils, and markers which makes the gaffer tape an extremely versatile product.